5 of the Best Places to Plan Your Upstate New York Elopement

upstate new york elopement

If you’re one of those couples who want a more intimate celebration of your love surrounded by nature and filled with adventure, then an Upstate New York elopement might be just perfect for you! Embrace the stunning natural beauty and the quaint charm of historic towns as you consider eloping here. With a diverse array of landscapes that range from majestic mountains to serene lakeshores, Upstate New York offers an enchanting and exciting backdrop for your intimate celebration of love.

Why Plan an Upstate New York Elopement?

Planning an Upstate New York elopement offers an exquisite blend of breathtaking natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure. With its sweeping landscapes that encompass majestic mountains, serene lakeshores, and lush forests, Upstate New York provides an awe-inspiring backdrop for couples seeking an intimate and remarkable wedding experience. Imagine exchanging vows against the backdrop of towering peaks or by the tranquil shores of a pristine lake, creating moments that are as visually stunning as they are emotionally!

Also, the region’s different terrain options allows couples to have a wide variety of adventure opportunities – whether it’s embarking on a scenic hike through picturesque trails, kayaking across crystal-clear waters, or capturing candid moments amidst the grandeur of the wilderness. An Upstate New York elopement not only celebrates love but also embraces the spirit of exploration, making it a perfect choice for couples who want to say their vows surrounded by nature, while also embarking on unforgettable outdoor adventures.

When to Elope in Upstate New York

Upstate New York’s stunning natural beauty reflects the magic of the changing seasons. Read on to discover what time of year might be perfect for your elopement!

Best Time of Year for an Upstate New York Elopement

Spring – Early Fall (May to September)

For ideal weather, this time period is often recommended, offering comfortably mild temperatures and lush green landscapes. During this time, the Adirondack Mountains and lakeshores come alive with vibrant foliage and blooming wildflowers, providing a picturesque backdrop for your celebration.

Autumn (September to October)

This time period is a particularly enchanting season, as the foliage transforms into a breathtaking tapestry of red, orange, and gold!

Winter (December to February)

If you’re drawn to snowy wonderlands and cozy ambiances, winter showcases Upstate New York’s scenic landscapes cloaked in beautiful snow, creating a magical atmosphere for a winter wonderland elopement.

Each season in Upstate New York offers its unique charm and natural beauty, making it possible to create an unforgettable elopement experience that aligns perfectly with your vision and the changing seasons.

Best Time of Day and Week

To ensure a more secluded elopement experience, I advise opting for a weekday elopement between Tuesday and Thursday, avoiding the increase of tourists and hikers in popular picturesque spots during long weekends. Alternatively, consider the magic of a sunrise or sunset elopement. By choosing this time of day, you have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning surroundings without the crowds and witness the extraordinary beauty of Upstate New York at its best.

Incredible Upstate New York Wedding Vendors

Upstate New York has amazing wedding vendors that will make your elopement experience unforgettable. From videographers to florists, hair, makeup, and more – there’s an amazing network of kick-ass vendors to bring your whole vision to life. Be sure to do your research and book vendors ahead of time!

5 Adventurous Locations for an Upstate New York Elopement

Eloping in Upstate New York is a journey into a world of natural beauty, historical charm, and endless adventure! This captivating region offers a diverse array of stunning landscapes that provide the perfect backdrop for an intimate celebration of love. Whether you’re drawn to the majestic peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, the serene shores of the Finger Lakes, the rustic charm of the Catskill Mountains, the elegance of the Hudson Valley, or the tranquil beauty of the Thousand Islands, Upstate New York has something to offer every couple seeking a unique and enchanting elopement experience. Each location is a chapter in a love story waiting to be told, and with its rich history and breathtaking scenery, Upstate New York promises an unforgettable celebration filled with beauty, romance, and incredibly epic adventures.

1. Adirondack Mountains Elopement

Lake Placid NY Elopement
Lower Cascade Lake, Lake Placid NY

The Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York provide an incredible backdrop for an adventurous elopement. With endless amazing spots available, you really can’t go wrong! A popular area for nature lovers, embarking on a journey of love amidst the untouched beauty of the Adirondacks is truly an unforgettable elopement experience. From the serene seclusion of Lake Placid and the majestic heights of Whiteface Mountain to the tranquil charm of Mirror Lake and the hidden treasures of High Falls Gorge, this region boasts a collection of elopement spots that are as diverse as they are enchanting. Whether exchanging vows in the captivating ambiance of Adirondack State Park, the tranquility of Heart Lake, or against the backdrop of the scenic Route 73, each location paints a unique canvas for love to blossom. Lastly, the Wild Center also offers an awe-inspiring vista that perfectly mirrors the heights of emotion on this special day.

Beautiful Adirondack Mountains Elopement Spots:

Lake Placid
Whiteface Mountain
Mirror Lake
High Falls Gorge
Adirondack State Park
Heart Lake
Route 73
Wild Center

Adirondack Mountains Elopement Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in Lake Placid and settle into your cozy accommodation. Spend the day exploring the natural wonders of the area. Hike along the Adirondack Loj Trail, marvel at the serene beauty of Mirror Lake, and take photos at the iconic Lake Placid sign.

Day 2 – Select a serene spot amidst the Adirondack Mountains for your intimate ceremony. Lake Placid, with its stunning mountain views, or Mirror Lake, with its tranquil waters, offer idyllic settings. Exchange your vows amidst the natural beauty, with the majestic peaks as your witnesses. Afterward, celebrate with a mountaintop picnic and a champagne toast. Capture your love against the backdrop of dramatic cliffs and serene waters.

Day 3 – Go on a scenic drive along Route 73, capturing the vibrant fall foliage or the lush greenery, depending on the season. Stop at High Falls Gorge for a refreshing hike and view of the cascading waterfalls. If you have time, visit the Wild Center for its stunning views and interactive exhibits. Later, unwind with a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Lake Placid, exploring local shops and restaurants. Finish your day with a relaxing visit to a nearby brewery to savor local flavors.

2. Finger Lakes Elopement

Taughannock Falls, Finger Lakes Region

The Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York offers a serene and picturesque setting for a beautiful elopement. Nestled between stunning lakes and rolling vineyards, this area provides an ideal backdrop for a romantic and intimate celebration. Choose to exchange your vows by the shores of Seneca Lake, surrounded by vineyards in the heart of wine country, or in the charming village of Skaneateles. Whether you’re drawn to the tranquility of the lakes or the rustic charm of wineries, a Finger Lakes elopement promises a memorable experience that combines natural beauty with a touch of elegance.

Stunning Finger Lakes Elopement Spots:

Seneca Lake
Finger Lakes Wine Country
Taughannock Falls

Finger Lakes Elopement Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in the picturesque village of Skaneateles and check into your charming accommodation. Spend the day exploring the village’s historic streets, visiting the Skaneateles Lake, and enjoying beautiful moments along the waterfront.

Day 2 – Spend the morning with coffee and breakfast as you get ready together before heading to your elopement spot – whether it’s the shores of Seneca Lake, a vineyard in Finger Lakes Wine Country, or a picturesque location in Skaneateles, you really can’t go wrong! Exchange vows amidst the tranquil beauty and capture the love shared against the backdrop of the lakes or vineyard.

Day 3 – Take a leisurely wine tour through Finger Lakes Wine Country, visiting local wineries and savoring regional vintages. Enjoy the rolling vineyards and scenic views. Later, have a romantic lakeside dinner at one of Skaneateles’ waterfront restaurants.

3. Catskill Mountains Elopement

Catskills Mountains

The Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York offer a rustic and picturesque setting for a charming elopement. Nestled among lush forests and rolling hills, this region provides a perfect backdrop for a serene and intimate celebration. Choose to exchange your vows at Kaaterskill Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in New York, or in the rustic charm of a Catskill mountain cabin. Whether you’re drawn to the majesty of the falls or the quiet seclusion of the mountains, a Catskill Mountains elopement promises an unforgettable experience that combines natural beauty with a touch of wilderness.

Epic Catskill Mountains Elopement Spots:

Kaaterskill Falls
Catskill Mountain Cabin

Catskill Mountains Elopement Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in the serene town of Catskill and check into your rustic mountain cabin accommodation. Spend the day exploring the beautiful forests, taking a hike to Kaaterskill Falls, and enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

Day 2 – Get up early for a stunning sunrise elopement! Choose from idyllic elopement spots in the Catskill Mountains like the base of Kaaterskill Falls or if you’re up for a hike, secluded parts of the beautiful area. Exchange vows surrounded by nature and capture your love against the backdrop of the mountains and wilderness.

Day 3 – Embark on an epic and scenic hike through the Catskill Mountains, exploring the forested trails and capturing the majestic landscapes. Enjoy a romantic mountain cabin dinner with your partner, surrounded by the serene beauty of the region.

4. Hudson Valley Elopement

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Hudson Valley NY

The Hudson Valley in Upstate New York offers a delightful blend of rustic beauty and historical charm, making it an ideal locale for a romantic elopement. With its picturesque landscapes and charming towns, this region sets the stage for an intimate celebration that seamlessly blends natural beauty with cultural richness. Exchange your vows in the shadow of the iconic Walkway Over the Hudson, capturing the sweeping views of the Hudson River. Alternatively, choose the historic charm of Rhinebeck, a charming village with elegant estates and serene gardens, as your elopement backdrop. Embrace the vibrant art scene in Beacon, with its contemporary art galleries and stunning mountain views. The Hudson Valley offers an array of adventures, from scenic hikes to visits to local wineries, providing the perfect blend of exploration and relaxation.

Adventurous Hudson Valley Elopement Spots:

Walkway Over the Hudson
Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Hudson Valley Elopement Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in Rhinebeck, a charming town in the Hudson Valley, and settle into your cozy accommodation. Spend the day exploring the town’s historic streets, visiting the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, and strolling along the Hudson River.

Day 2 – Get ready separately and then have a “first look” moment the morning of your ceremony. Then head to your elopement spot – whether it’s the Walkway Over the Hudson, the gardens of a Rhinebeck estate, or a scenic location in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, you’ll exchange vows amidst the region’s beauty! Celebrate your love against the backdrop of history and natural splendor. Capture the essence of your special day through photos that reflect the region’s charm and elegance.

Day 3 – Venture on a scenic hike in the Hudson Valley, exploring the region’s lush landscapes and taking in the breathtaking views. For a taste of local culture, visit one of the many wineries or art galleries in the area. Conclude your day with a leisurely dinner at one of the region’s charming restaurants, savoring the flavors of the Hudson Valley.

5. Thousand Islands Elopement

Boldt Castle, Thousand Islands Region

The Thousand Islands region in Upstate New York provides an enchanting setting for an intimate elopement. Nestled along the St. Lawrence River, this area is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and picturesque islands. Choose to exchange your vows on one of the islands, such as Boldt Castle, with its rich history and elegant gardens. Alternatively, embrace the tranquility of Wellesley Island State Park, surrounded by lush forests and serene waters. Capture the essence of the Thousand Islands with a romantic boat ride, exploring the region’s waterways and capturing candid moments on the river. This region offers a seamless blend of nature and history, creating a unique elopement experience that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Epic Thousand Islands Elopement Spots:

Boldt Castle
Wellesley Island State Park
Thousand Islands Cruises

Thousand Islands Elopement Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive on Wellesley Island, part of the Thousand Islands, and settle into your island accommodation. Spend the day exploring the island’s natural beauty, taking a hike through Wellesley Island State Park, and enjoying beautiful scenery walking along the river.

Day 2 – Have a slow morning and exchange love letters to start your ceremony day. Then head to your idyllic spot on Wellesley Island or one of the picturesque islands in the Thousand Islands region for your intimate ceremony. Whether it’s a secluded beach or a historic location like Boldt Castle, exchange vows amidst the natural beauty and waterscapes. Celebrate your love against the backdrop of islands and gardens. Capture the essence of your special day through photos that reflect the region’s beautiful charm.

Day 3 – Go on a fun and romantic boat ride through the Thousand Islands, exploring the region’s captivating waterways and scenic landscapes. Enjoy the view as you cruise along the St. Lawrence River. If the weather is right, have a kayaking adventure! Later, for a taste of local history, visit Boldt Castle and explore its elegant gardens. Conclude your day with a leisurely dinner on the island, savoring the tranquility and flavors of the Thousand Islands.

Legal Requirements for Eloping in Upstate New York

When planning to elope in Upstate New York, it’s important to be aware of the legal requirements to ensure a smooth and legitimate celebration!

1. To obtain a marriage license, both parties must be present at a town or city clerk’s office, where you’ll fill out an application and provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

2. There is no residency requirement, meaning couples from anywhere can marry in Upstate New York!

3. The marriage license is typically issued on the same day and is valid immediately, with no waiting period. The license is valid for up to 60 days.

4. An approved officiant (such as a judge, justice of the peace, or ordained minister) must sign the marriage license and return it to the town or city clerk’s office to be officially recorded.

5. Make sure you look into your ceremony location beforehand and find out if you need to obtain a permit.

Familiarizing yourself with these legal steps will ensure that your Upstate New York elopement is not only a beautiful occasion but also recognized as a legally binding union.

Booking Your Upstate New York Elopement

Amelia Marie Photography specializes in working with adventurous couples to plan and photograph their perfect elopement day. If you’re ready to plan the most epic, fun, and badass elopement celebration, contact me today to get started on bringing your elopement vision to life! 

Amelia Marie Photography

is your Vermont and New England based wedding, elopement  and lifestyle photographer who is forever-seeking adventures and epic moments!

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